Tried Kettlebell Kickboxing? SELF’s Up & Out Wellness Event Brought Country’s Hottest Workouts Under One Roof

June 29, 2015  |  


You probably know by now that we here at MadameNoire are all about health and wellness these days. As a team, we’ve lost more than 100 pounds since the fall! And the key to weight loss is not only eating better, but working out, of course. The way to stay motivated when working it out is to find a form of exercise that not only burns calories but is enjoyable. I’m always open to trying out new, unique workouts, so I was game for SELF magazine’s Up & Out studio event this past weekend.

The health and wellness extravaganza took place in Soho on Saturday and Sunday. On each day, a wide array of classes were offered to men and women who were looking to try out the hottest new classes and workout trends from around the country. That included classes from Barry’s Bootcamp, CityRow, CPX, Flywheel, Jetset Miami, Kettlebell Kickboxing, Mile High Run Club, Plyojam, Pure Barre, Shift by Dana Perri and 305 Fitness.

I tried out the Kettlebell Kickboxing and Plyojam classes with my partner in crime, my older sister Veronica. We arrived with the “Breakfast” crowd on Sunday (those taking classes before 11 a.m.) in our brightest, boldest workout pants, ready to hit the floor. The Kettlebell Kickboxing course, taught by Jenel, pissed me all the way off. But you’re not getting the best workout possible if you’re not a little irritated from all the effort being exerted. She had us tossing around kettlebells, jumping around them, doing sit-ups with them and shooting them above our heads. It was quite an intense experience made even more intense by the inclusion of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practices, as well as Muay Thai, and more. But it was also a fun class. Jenel had amazing energy and was very encouraging. And she was able to get us out of our comfort zones while dancing to Michael Jackson, breakdancing to Bruno Mars and cooling down to my personal favorite, “Wobble.”

The class got my blood pumping and my muscles warm, preparing me for what was to come during Plyojam. Led by instructor and Plyojam creator Jason Layden, the class is all about explosive movements. It’s plyometrics: You’re dancing, but you’re using your entire body to get the most out of your workout. You’re jumping as high as you can, and popping that booty in ways you usually don’t do in public (or at least outside of a dark club for 40 minutes straight). Layden’s energy was off the Richter scale, and he made you want to give the class 100 percent, even if you were just operating on 70 percent. We grooved to all the latest dance hits as sweat dripped off of us, and we even had an impromptu body roll lesson. Trust me, it was needed. There were women jutting out their pelvic bones instead of rolling from the chest down. In the end, it all seemed so extra, but it all worked out so well. The more I jumped, the more powerful I felt. The more I twerked, the freer I was. It was laborious, but damn, it was fun!

After sweating buckets from a morning full of jumping and lifting weights, my sister and I checked out the expo. Inside, we were introduced to protein shakes and bars from Premier Protein and GoMacro MacroBars. We were able to try out French sports bras from Chantelle Lingerie, beauty products from Bliss and Cover FX, and we even walked away with new insoles for our sneakers thanks to Ortholite. And on the way out, we were given gift bags with everything from filtered water bottles by Bobble, coffee from Starbucks, tampons from Tampax, and a whole host of other nice treats–including a copy of the latest issue of SELF.

Not only did SELF’s Up & Out Studio event put me on to some great workouts (CityRow I’m on my way!), it also introduced me to some innovative products in the realm of beauty, fashion and tech. It was a great two days of health and wellness, and in my case, also some great bonding time with my big sis. And it was also awesome motivation and inspiration for men and women hoping to take their fitness to the next level. I will definitely be back next year, and I hope to see you there!


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